foto_atlanta_botanic1If you were at the Blueprint 2.0 workshops, you probably remember talking about barriers to action in Blueprint areas. You might also remember pointing out places where the Blueprint priorities made sense to you and other places where they didn’t. If you were on an Indicator Revision Team, you probably remember pointing out issues with certain indicators and recommending improvements. If you’re on the Conservation Design Team, you’ll remember prioritizing improvements for Blueprint 2.1. As staff, we compile all that information and feedback to help you set the course for your cooperative.

Two major issues both came up regularly and were a good fit for collaborative projects this year: 1) Improving the connections with urban communities and 2) Improving the connection between coastal actions and marine impacts. I’m pleased to announce that there will be two funded projects starting this year to address these issues:

1) Improving the integration between the natural and built environment in the South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint – This is a collaborative project with the American Planning Association (APA). They will be helping improve the Blueprint near and within cities. The project also includes a summit with planners and conservation professionals in the South Atlantic to discuss opportunities, challenges, and improve collaboration between the two groups. Connections with urban planners was one of the top three barriers to action that came out of the Blueprint 2.0 workshops. Improving the Blueprint near and within cities was also a high priority for the Conservation Design Team.

2) Improving the connections between coastal actions and marine impacts in the Conservation Blueprint – deepwatercoralThis is a collaborative project with a number of coastal and marine modelers and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The project will be connecting and improving a number of estuarine and marine ecosystem models to create an integrated ecosystem model for the South Atlantic. The estuarine and marine ecosystem priorities need the most improvement based on feedback from the Blueprint 2.0 workshop and during the indicator testing and revision process. This project will both help inform more ecosystem management based approaches to managing marine resources and  help communicate additional benefits of inland conservation actions like marsh restoration and improvements in instream flow.

More info on both of these projects is coming soon!